The Broncos and the NFL announced Tuesday night Wes Welker would miss the first four games of the season after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Reports pegged Welker's positive test to ecstasy laced with amphetamine the wide receiver took during a now-infamous trip to the Kentucky Derby.
Welker said in an email to the Denver Post he "would NEVER knowingly take" a performance enhancing drug and called the NFL's drug-testing process "clearly flawed."
"I'm as shocked as everyone at todays news," Welker said. "I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. Anyone who has ever played a down with me, lifted a weight with me, even eaten a meal with me, knows that I focus purely on what I put in my body and on the hard work I put in year round to perform at the highest levels year-in and year-out.
"I want any youth football players and all sports fans to know, there are NO shortcuts to success, and nothing but hard work and studying, leads to success.
"I have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that (drug-policy procedures) are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren't negatively affected so rashly like this."
Welker sounded particularly furious and indignant about the report of him taking "Molly" (a street name for MDMA ,a theoretically purer form of ecstasy).
"I wouldn't have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is," Welker said. “That's a joke. I don't do marijuana, I don't do drugs. I don't do any drugs."
There's no real way to spin this positively for the Broncos and Welker, but there is the tiny silver lining of Welker getting four full weeks to recover from his third concussion in three months.
Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer will need to step up in Welker's absence, although seeing a drop-off in performance from Peyton Manning would be fairly surprising, if only because the team's been preparing for life without Welker for a while now.